Burt-Stark Mansion | Abbeville, SC
The Burt-Stark Mansion is worth a visit for every history enthusiast, and any lover of Greek Revival architecture. Its major claim to fame? The site of the last council of the war of the Confederacy, where President Jefferson Davis admitted to the assembled group that, “All is indeed lost.” His plan was to rally the troops to continue fighting until he became convinced that continuing the war would “inflict more misery on the South.” And so our nation’s most divisive conflict ended, and reconstruction began.
Today, a guided tour through the 1830s mansion will reveal Southern antiques, including silver, crystal, rugs and furniture. Paintings still adorn the walls. The guides are knowledgeable and some have personal memories of visiting the mansion when it was still the private residence of Mary Stark Davis, the last person to actually reside there.
A rare, stained glass crescent transom connects the front and rear hallways. The outdoor kitchen is still intact, which can be a bit of a rarity due to the fires which often destroyed those wooden buildings. The last owners added an indoor kitchen, as well – for those modern conveniences. Guests will enjoy learning about the cuisine of the era.
The tall windows let in the breeze, and the four square columns support the two-story portico. The gardens were designed in the 1830s by an English landscaper, and the narrow drive, originally quite ample for carriages and horseback, still has a dismount stone at the front steps.
WOW Factor: It was listed in the National Register in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. The buildings and property are well worth a visit, especially with one of the very knowledgeable and interesting tour guides.
Hint: Don’t ignore the rest of Abbeville when you visit. The charming town still showcases its opera house which is used for shows. Check out the website for special events. And if you’re planning a wedding, this might be the perfect venue for one unforgettable special day.
Learn more: www.burtstark.com
Photo: Burt-Stark Mansion | Abbeville, SC
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